By Dusty Wiegert
SALINA, Kan. – Every once in a while, a new face will show up and immediately make an impact at the Salina Speedway on any given Friday.
Tonight (Aug. 14) the new face is a familiar one to race fans around the country as former NASCAR driver and dirt enthusiast Ken Schrader will tackle the central Kansas 3/8-mile oval.
It will be the first time that a NASCAR star past or present has visited the track to compete. Current Sprint Cup driver Kasey Kahne visited almost 16 years ago to the day, but was still a few years away from beginning his NASCAR career.
Schrader will be piloting his own car in the 1st Class Chassis IMCA Modified division, in a battle that pits the four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup winner against the local contingent of hot shoes.
Drivers in the IMCA Modified division are eligible for some special perks as well. If 30 or more cars sign in to face off against Schrader the main event for the division will pay a cool $1,000 to win and be a Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot qualifier.
If that isn’t enough incentive, Gary Cornelison with Good Ole Boys Racing Photos has posted $100 for the winner of a special cash dash featuring the top two drivers from each qualifying heat race in a six-lap dash for the Benjamin.
There’s also a little something special for heat race winners in every division this week. Each winner will receive a free 6-pack of their favorite frosty ice cold beverage courtesy of the Salina Speedway. Another 6-pack is also up for grabs to the hard charger in each feature event on the night as well, granted the driver advances at least five positions.
Including the Modifieds, all five IMCA divisions will be in action on the night: the Coors Light IMCA Stock Cars, Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Northern SportMods, Budweiser IMCA Hobby Stocks, and M&H Motors IMCA Sport Compacts.
The night’s special theme is in honor of Jaxson Fuller, who passed away in an accident in August of 2012. A Youth Racing Fund was established in his memory to help local racing kids get their start and pursue auto racing. The night’s fundraising activities will go towards this special fund, intending to keep kids in racing and to grow the sport from the bottom up for the future.
A dunk tank featuring some of Salina Speedway’s drivers will be up for entertainment before the races, and anyone wearing a Jaxson Fuller Youth Racing Fund T-shirt will receive $2 off their admission price.
Everything kicks off with the pit gates opening at 5 p.m., followed by the grandstand gates at 5:30 p.m. and hot laps at 7:15 p.m. with racing to follow.
Adult admission will remain the same as weekly events at $10, with kids 15 and under free with a paying adult. Seniors 55 and up are $5 and military both current and retired are free with ID.
For more information about the Salina Speedway visit http://www.racesalinaspeedway.com or call 785 292-9220